If you’re a serious prepper there’s a good chance that you’ve spent thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on food, water, firearms, and other preparedness and survival gear. All it takes is one thief or band of robbers to wreak havoc on your supplies, steal the gear you’ve worked so hard to accumulate, and shatter your sense of safety.
Even if you’re not a prepper, the feeling of being robbed can be devastating. That’s why it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family against robbery. Here are 14 common sense steps you can take to keep you, your loved ones, and your possessions safe.
1. Multiple Locks on Doors
Every door to the outside should have at least two locks, one of which should be a deadbolt. Two deadbolts isn’t a bad idea either. You may not like the idea of carrying multiple keys, but that’s a minor annoyance compared to theft and robbery.
2. Reinforce Your Door Frames
If your locks are too hardened, thieves may attack the doors themselves. Flimsy door frames and weak walls are the next point of attack. While it may be difficult to retrofit walls after the fact, if you’re building a new home make sure that your doors, frames, and anchoring walls are strengthened.
3. Keep Your Keys Secure
Don’t keep spare keys unsecured outside your house. If you absolutely have to have a backup set of keys in case you lose yours, use a realtor-style lock box. Don’t keep house keys and car keys on the same chain, in case you misplace your car keys and find yourself locked out of the house. Keep your keys out of the possession of anyone who doesn’t need them.
4. Think About an Alarm System
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a fully monitored alarm service. Even a simple alarm that makes noise when activated can scare off opportunistic thieves.
5. Invest in Motion Sensors
Motion-activated lights around doors and windows can deter would-be thieves from trying to break into your house.
6. Eliminate Outdoor Hiding Places
Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed and eliminate places where thieves can hide outside. Assess your property as though you’re a robber and eliminate anything that could be used as a hiding place for robbers to ambush you.
7. Secure Valuables Indoors
Remember that just about any safe you buy can be broken into, it’s just a matter of time and effort. Invest in the highest-quality safe you can afford that offers you the protection you need. If you’re building a new home, think about creating a safe room with hardened walls and doors that can be used to safeguard your valuables.
8. Protect Your Mail and Packages
If you get mail delivery to your door, have a secured mail slot so that mail will be delivered into your home. If your mail is delivered to an outside mailbox, think about getting a P.O. Box. Anyone rifling through your mail can figure out what your interests are, whether or not you own guns, how much money you have, etc. just by looking at the catalogs you receive in your mail.
9. Eliminate Sliding Glass Doors
No matter how hard your locks and doors are, if you have sliding glass doors all of those other precautions will be for naught. A quick smash with a brick and thieves are in your house.
10. Create a Safe Room Plan
In the event of a home invasion, have a plan on how to respond. Make sure everyone in your household knows where the safe room is and where the self-defense firearms are and how to use them.
11. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Good neighbors are a godsend. Bad neighbors can be a nightmare. Getting to know your neighbors can give you extra sets of eyes and ears and alert you to any potential prowlers in the area.
12. Loose Lips Sink Ships
Don’t brag about your possessions, either in person or online. You may be proud of your guns and gear, but putting all that information out there for others to see is a recipe for getting robbed.
13. Inventory Your Possessions
Make sure to keep receipts of all your high-dollar items. Take pictures, record serial numbers, and keep them documented and backed up. Even if your items aren’t covered by insurance, being able to prove to police that those goods are yours can make it easier to get them back if they’re stolen and recovered.
14. Keep a Low Profile
Don’t dress too flashy, don’t drive an overly fancy car, and don’t advertise that you have money or possessions. Keeping a low profile is dependent on where you live too. What might be considered low profile and solidly middle class in suburban New York or Los Angeles might be considered highly flashy in many rural areas of the country.